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It's in the balance

Balanced posture is the foundation of a true, repeating putting stroke

Over the last ten years or so I have dedicated my life to the study of biomechanics in a wide range of sporting disciplines. And perhaps the single most significant discovery in that time is the role of good balance in terms of optimising performance. As a result – and in collaboration with teaching professional Stewart Craig – I developed the ProStance, one of the most effective and yet simple game improvement tools on the market.

The ProStance gets to the heart of two fundamentals issues: static and dynamic balance. In other words, it helps you to fine-tune your balance as you get into a good posture at the set-up, and then maintain that balance throughout the motion of the stroke. That is one of the keys to consistency. And while the demonstration I am giving here relates to putting, the ProStance is equally valuable in terms of isolating and working on your balance in the long game, both at the set-up and in the swing.

In mechanical terms, the ProStance helps you determine how to flex your knees and ‘fix’ your posture so you are able to keep the core of your body perfectly still during the stroke. The more you inflate the tube, the harder it is to achieve and then maintain good balance – and that’s the key to the exercise. As you put it under pressure, your body instinctively adapts to the threat of being out of balance, and you will flex your knees and stick out your rear end to settle and counter your weight.

Weight is split evenly between the feet, the legs braced. Head and body
centre remain perfectly still. Putter returned squarely to the ball through impact.

Equal pressure is distributed on the fore foot and heels of both feet. Stable lower body makes for a consistent posture, repeating stroke. Balance maintained right up to the finish – hold it as you track the ball.

Start with the tube deflated, and stand on it wearing your golf shoes. Then inflate the tube to allow your body to find its own balance. If your toes or heels come up (see insets left), you will know your balance needs adjustment. Your mind will start fine-tuning your physical movements. (You are training without even realising it!).

As you become more proficient, the idea is that you further inflate the tube to give yourself more of a test. Ultimately, the aim is to be able to maintain your balance with the tube fully inflated. Your toes and heels will be in the air, your balance maintained with the strength of your body (your weight in line with your body’s centre of gravity).

Finally, step off the ProStance and hit some putts with your feet on the ground. You will then feel just how your feet should react with the ground and appreciate the foundation of a truly balanced base upon which you run a smooth putting stroke.

“Rocking backwards applies toomuch pressure to the heels (left),while tipping
the posture forward places excessive pressure on the balls of the feet.When I teach putting I want the weight to be evenly distributed through your arches and I want you to feel your toes and heels in contact with the ground. Equal pressure
on the heels an the balls confirms perfect balance”

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